The hand is the instrument of intelligence. The child needs to manipulate objects and to gain experience by touching and handling.”
—The 1946 London Lectures – Dr Montessori
Dr. Maria Montessori observed there are certain periods in the life of your child termed as Sensitive Periods or developmental milestones. During these periods, the child has an overpowering internal curiosity and sensitivity to a particular skill or knowledge. She has a spontaneous desire to engage in the particular activity and she repeats it until the skill is mastered. Dr Montessori spoke about the developmental stages in her writing over a century ago. A sensitive period is a burning fire of interest in something, during the period of time that a child acquires a new specific skill. Dr Maria Montessori, Absorbent Mind, (Henry Holt and Company, 1995)
The rich daily toddler program uses a mixture of Montessori materials introduced to the child as they develop their language skills, they master their routines of toileting and self care and begin to recognize songs and symbols. Each week follows a thematic based approach and includes a variety of skills introduced to the child on a daily basis. The importance of play is highlighted through the different types of play encouraged for the child to grow their independence and conceptual skills.
Introduction to Montessori materials
The role of the Montessori materials is to ensure that the child is learning through a kinesthetic approach. They are able to use all of their senses to make sense of their world. In a Montessori environment the child will be exposed to wooden materials designed over a century ago and still focussing on the essence of enabling a child to feel the textures of the materials, their shape and size and allow the child to begin to classify the world around them.
Toddlers are introduced to Preliminary Language allowing them to learn the sounds that make up words. The focus remains on sentence formation and development of oral language skills.
In the math area, simple concepts of numbers and time are introduced through son, counting by rote and the daily calendar.
Children learn about animals, the seasons, composers and many cultural observances through the year as they navigate activities that enable them to kinesthetically use their senses to learn.
Montessori materials enable the toddler to work with puzzle maps, leaf pressings, blocks of different focus, shape and size that develop their fine and gross motor skills, as well as hone their concentration and focusing abilities and attention spans.
Children in the Montessori program will learn to bake and understand the concept of how cooking provides children the opportunity to prepare food cleanly. They will learn the art of role play.
Daily circle time and story telling time enable students to learn the art of listening attentively to songs and poems and give them a chance to broaden their imagination.
Creative Learning and Free play are an important part of each child’s development. These experiences provide the child with the opportunity to express themselves as well as manipulate and create objects with a variety of materials. Emphasis is placed on process not product.
Creative learning allows children to work alone or in groups for social interaction and helps to develop language, sharing and develop relationships and language.
Children in the Toddler program are fed lunch and snacks provided by the school and a daily communication journal is sent home to inform parents of their child’s progress. All meals are served in a happy and relaxed atmosphere.
Nap time if parents still wish for their child to nap occur between 12-2pm. Each child is designated a cot and must bring in their own blanket for comfort.